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City Rail Link in the Budget?

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 pm, May 15th, 2013 - 45 comments
Categories: election 2014, housing, local body elections, national, polls, transport - Tags:

A reader sent us a comment from another blog by someone who was polled a couple of weeks back. The questions are very interesting, especially once you realise that it’s clearly being done for National and the Right in Auckland (one of the questions gives it away). Have a read, then I’ll tell you why I reckon the Nats are going to fund the City Rail Link in the Budget.

Asked me how I rated on a 1-5 scale John Key, David Shearer, Len Brown, Maurice Williamson…

Did I think NZ was headed in right or wrong direction.

Asked who I’d vote for today if a national election was held, and who I voted for last time.

Asked if I thought housing affordability was a major, moderate or non-issue.

Asked if housing affordability was due to land shortage, high compliancing/legal costs, or property developers profiteering…

Asked if Auck Council or NZ Govt were able to improve housing affordability. (I said 50/50).

Asked about expanding metropolitan limit, and increasing housing density in local centres.

Asked whether I thought CRL was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of roading projects, or not needed at all.

Asked whether Puhoi-Welsford motorway extension was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of rail projects or not needed at all

Asked about how transport improvements (of whatever type) should be funded, vis local fuel tax, local rates, national fuel tax or central govt taxes.

Asked how above funds, once raised should be split rail vs roads. (I went for 70% rail-30% roads- I haven’t read about whats required so I pulled that from my ass :)

Asked if knowing a council candidate was on a Citizens & Ratepayers (or whatever they’ve changed C&R to stand for now?) ticket would make me more or less likely to vote for them. No other council tickets were mentioned or asked about.

There may have been a few more questions on the same subjects, but it was pretty narrowly focused on getting an aucklander’s view on the major auckland issues, and how to pay for them, and does Maurice Williamson have a show… :)

So, questions about both national and local political figures and about policy decisions by both local and central government. The giveaway is only being asked about the C&R brand. Clearly, this was a poll commissioned by National/C&R – probably Curia.

One object seems to be to get data on whether Williamson has a shot at a mayoral run (hey, talk of that dried up pretty suddenly, didn’t it? Probably about the time these polling numbers came in)

The questions about housing affordability are interesting (only rightwing ‘answers’ offered – this is typical of Farrar’s accidental push-polling). It shows that National feels it needs to do something in this area and is searching for an option that would be politically saleable, even if ineffective in practice. English has already signalled that we’ll be seeing something along those lines (sounds good, does nothing) in the Budget.

But it’s the transport ones that catch my eye. Why would National want to know about views on the City Rail Link vs the Holiday Highway? They wouldn’t if their position is fixed. If they’re building the holiday highway come hell or high water and they’re dead set against the CRL, they don’t need to waste money asking polling questions about them.

So, what if National’s position isn’t fixed? What if they’re considering building the CRL and they’re considering dropping the Holiday Highway to pay for it? Then, they would want an idea of how receptive the public would be to such a move.

And we know basically what the numbers will have told them, because the question has been asked in public polls: Aucklanders think the CRL is more important than the Holiday Highway.

Clearly, the party that can get the CRL built has a lot of votes to gain, both in 2014 and at the local body elections.

Here, then, is my call: in the Budget, National will announce it is providing part funding for the CRL. Puhoi to Wellsford may be delayed to free up the cash or the money might come from the so-called ‘Future Investment Fund’ (ie. the asset sales revenue) to really fuck with the Left.

That will be a bold move that will attempt to wrong-foot the Left by adopting one of its own positions, in stark contrast to National’s pattern to date of focusing on fringe issues that only the business elite back. Conflating asset sales with getting the CRL would make things really tricky for the Left to finesse.

So, will National have the vision and cunning for that. Or are they too ideologically set against rail?

45 comments on “City Rail Link in the Budget?”

  1. Interesting comment. The “leaks” about the budget and affordable housing, more state housing, and food in schools are all good progressive ideas. It is as if the Nats know the next election will be lost unless they can grab some left support and adopt policies that are near and dear to lefties.

    It confuses the hell out of me. And supporting the CRL would cause a crisis of confidence.

    Maybe they will do anything as long as they can retain power and keep selling assets. Including selling their right wing souls.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Looks like National have followed my advice on food in schools: http://thestandard.org.nz/the-problem-with-third-way-policies/

      Bugger.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        The feel of it is that National are gearing up hard to win a 3rd term. And are willing to make some minor progressive sacrifices in order to do so.

        • felix 1.1.1.1

          Quelle surprise, I thought National were supposed to politely hand over the bat at the end of their go.

          After all, their poll numbers have been trending down. Surely that’s a sign that their term is coming to an end and they should give up.

          And Labour have been playing nicely, quietly waiting their turn like they ought to. With such a cooperative opposition it seems highly unfair of National to try and get re-elected by such dirty tricks as announcing policy that appeals to the voters.

          This just won’t do. It’s Shearer’s turn goddammit.

          • The Al1en 1.1.1.1.1

            Cynical it is, opportunist it is, last throw of the dice it certainly isn’t – It’s called on the attack politics, and if done, the nats would not only win votes because of it, they would also have the perfect excuse to flog off more assets as ‘in the public interest’ to fund similar projects like they promised.
            Well played… If they weren’t scum bag rich pricks.

            Still, not bullet proof.
            If the nats are willing to stump up for the crl project they’ve previously criticvised, why didn’t they build a convention hall with government cash that they say would bring in 90m a year?

            • red rattler 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Could be a win win if the NACTs sign up China Railway Group to do a Build-Operate-Transfer job. And who knows, a crl that goes over to the North Shore and beyond could open a fastrail link to Marsden Point. The NACTs have all the money and all the connections and are walking all over Labour.

          • Tamati 1.1.1.1.2

            Here’s a nice example of some complacent left wingers, thinking all they had to do was smile and talk about “Time for Change” to get elected. 20% ahead in the polls at the start of year, yet go on to lose in May!

            http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/05/15/british_columbia_election_christy_clark_pulls_off_an_upset_for_the_ages_tim_harper.html

            Would probably be a good game plan for Key and a pretty big warning for Shearer!

      • Alanz 1.1.2

        “Looks like National have followed my advice on food in schools”

        – be careful what is written here. Nats pick up ideas from here while the Labour leadership doesn’t read blogs.

  2. Tamati 2

    Always interesting to see what the internal polling is up to. I don’t think it is a push poll though, they tend not to be done in person. I think the wording is more about finding expressions to put into sound bites. Fox News and the Republicans are masters at this dark art, hence why “Healthcare Reform” and “Universal Healthcare” became “government take over of healthcare” and “Obamacare”. As Roger Ailes said:

    “When I die, I want to come back with real power. I want to come back as a member of a focus group.”

    [yeah, I didn’t say it was a push poll. the problem with farrar is his questions are limited to the existing framing of the people he’s meant to be finding info for… so the respondent has to answer in terms that suit the cient… Eddie]

    • IrishBill 2.1

      No, it’s not a push poll. It’s a poll that is trying to determine the most palatable way to frame an issue within the limits of a rightwing paradigm.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      Pollsters are always like that, you gotta have the answers the bill payers like to hear- Ask Mitt Romney about that ?

  3. handle 3

    Parties adjust their communications planning with questions like these. It does not mean they will fund the Central Rail Link, just know how to talk about not doing it. Or in this case Williamson may not bother running for Mayor if his own libertarian bias is too far out of step with what Aucklanders want.

  4. Anne 4

    Clearly, this was a poll commissioned by National/C&R – probably Curia.

    Curia without a shadow of doubt. Has Farrar’s footprints all over it.

    • Tom Gould 4.1

      Did the polling company or organisation fail to name itself in the preamble? I thought that was a must in the industry code of ethics?

    • Anne 4.2

      Yes, it was Curia. They rang me this evening.

      I agree the questions were loaded and concentrated on Auckland City and the debate between the Rail Link and the Holiday Highway. Quite a complex poll. They are trying to gauge which of the funding options would evoke the least opposition.

      The other big issue was housing in Auckland and house prices in particular. They want to know who we’re blaming for the situation – the govt. or the council. C&R figured prominently – trying to find out if we’re put off by C&R and if so… they’ll stand supposedly independent candidates.

      My pick is this is a major poll which is also going to decide the strategy for their campaign next year. The background noise suggested to me there were at least 200 people on the phones. They’ll be ringing from one of the major polling companies. It will be costing them both arms and legs. Wonder what Farrar is charging them?

      Remember, elections are won and lost in Auckland.

      • karol 4.2.1

        Politics by poll just makes me sick. Where’s the conviction politics?

        Consulting with people is one thing, but using polls to find a sly way to slip in your desired policies is not in the spirit of democracy.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Conviction politics? Cowardice politics seems more common.

        • Anne 4.2.1.2

          Precisely karol, and to back that up I’ve remembered another interesting question:

          Did I think the govt. was going in the right direction or the wrong direction?

          In other words they will change their ideology and policies to fit with the majority opinion. No basic principles or integrity, just whatever it takes to hang on to that aphrodisiac… absolute power.

  5. Mike 5

    Joyce used the Holiday Highway in one of his Question Time diatribes today against the opposition for opposing him
    So I don’t think it’s going away

  6. If it’s true, then that’s why Len Brown threw problem gamblers under the sky city bus on Monday.
    What is it with Ak mayors? It’s like every one of them has their price. Banks’ is cash in an envelope, Brown’s kids locked in an underground car park.

    If it’s true.

  7. Molly 7

    If the Budget reveals attempts to “wrong foot the Left” as you suggest (and which I also suspect), the best response from the Left should be “about time!”…. and front the media requests for comment with “We are ready to reach consensus on these policies and are looking forward to working together now that National has come to the party” and make it apparent they are willing to work together on these issues.

    The left has the opportunity to take any moves by National to appear ready to deal – and run with it – preferably in full view of the public.

    Only after a period of time, should any Left commentators say (somewhat regretfully) “… I don’t know what happened, we were ready to sit down and get these issues sorted and National vetoed any of the solutions the group came up with. Despite that, we have …..” fed 2000 kids breakfast… etc

    • georgecom 7.1

      To put that in different words, frame things so the left has the answers to our current problems and the Nats are finally coming round to our way of thinking. We have the answers, we are the future government that will address the nations problems. The nats have belatedly come to the party. Hey, it has taken them a long time but we want to make an EARLY START on getting these problems solved so we will deal with them now. When we get into office we will have some head start on which to build some really progressive and long term focused initiatives.

      We have the answers, we are the government in waiting, we can’t wait to get cracking. We are gripped by a sense of urgency. There is not a moment to lose, not a person to waste. The Nats have wasted 5 years and pushed many people to the side. They have finally woken up to some of the things that need to be done. We’ll work with them so we can make a start and hit the ground running when elected.

      A left Government = the answers to the nations problems
      Nats et al = continually playing catch up, no idea apart from following our lead

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Nice framing but where is this Left Government in Waiting gripped with Urgency and armed with Answers that you keep referring to?

        • Alanz 7.1.1.1

          There is a Labour Party sitting on the opposition benches that is supposed to be on the Left but so far under its current leadership, it has been more successful at showing it is Left Behind.
          Never mind. Don’t rock the boat. Give it six more months.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1.2

          Glass always empty again CV ?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1

            Are you suggesting instead that the left wing glass is either half full, or completely full?

        • georgecom 7.1.1.3

          Well when has framing v reality actually stopped a government in the recent years I can count on the fingers of one hand?

          Brighter future
          Ambitious for NZ
          Wave goodbye to high taxes not your loved ones
          170,000 jobs
          etc etc

          I guess you might argue that the answers are in comparison with the lot in power at the moment, who are clueless about what to actually do about the problems, who think they are seeing ‘Wellington die and can’t do a thing about it’ etc etc.

          Not all the answers, fully admitted, simply far more than clueless and clueless. But importantly starting to develop some of the right answers for our future. Some way to go, yes, but at least the journey has been started. Clueless and clueless? Still transferring the nations welath into their mates pockets and little idea beyond that.

  8. Ad 8

    Far too early to get hopes up on CRL.
    Not even done the detailed business case, through Treasury Better Business Case framework.
    Best to hope for – and unlikely in my view – is Government saying “it’s worth thinking about”.

    anyone seen Labour’s alternative budget?
    Yesterday I just saw Parker in the Herald just agreeing with everything.

  9. tc 9

    If they back CRL then they risk looking desperate after slagging If off every opportunity and continuing with their roads to nowhere. If they use asset sales funds then that is another broken promise so as long as the opposition can stay on message it should be easy.

    Cue for twyford to prove he’s worth something after all maybe as DS seems feckless

  10. Salad 10

    Hang on a second. Maybe the mistake is thinking that the CRL is some kind of grand progressive, Left-wing project? After all, even the business lobbies support it these days…I think it is a good idea, but I don’t see what is inherently Left wing about it.

    • karol 10.1

      The focus on public transport is left wing. However, focusing only on rail is a limited vision. A substantial left wing approach would include linkages between buses and rail stations, and various incentives to get people walking, cycling and using public transport more, and using motor vehicles less on roads.

    • Stephen D 10.2

      Interesting point. The CRL is going to benefit those who use, or would use PT more. These people are not usually National voters. So it is a ‘left’ position in that is helps the bottom two thirds rather than the top third. OTOH businesses in Auckland realise the economic benefits of a decent PT system, so far the govt doesn’t.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        The CRL is going to benefit those who use, or would use PT more. These people are not usually National voters.

        I would tend to disagree around Auckland: everyone (and I do mean everyone) would like to see cars leave the motorways: even the people who drive new BMWs every day.

        • karol 10.2.1.1

          Yep. Even if they don’t want to use public transport themselves, they’d rather less people were using the roads.

          But, many people are eyeing the existing public transport, and want more of an incentive to get out of their cars – lower costs, more reliable and frequent PT, and more PT to diverse areas away from the rail lines.

  11. Rich the other 11

    Winning tactics,
    No money for the rail system , this time.
    Why would they partly fund it at this time when they have another budget after this one before the next election, it could be a vote winner in Auckland next time.

    The Govt’s on a roll with an abundance of good news story’s.
    Maurice Williamson will win if he stands.
    Len Browns housing plan is in tatters, it seems he forgot to ask AK residence if they would like high rise housing in their neighbour hood , another win for Nick Smith and the Nat’s .

    The left is going nowhere and are starting to panic , even submitters to this site are beginning to doubt the lefts ability’s.
    The economy is rapidly improving which creates real problems for the green/labour opposition.

    Long range prediction , next election a landslide win for National.

    • karol 11.1

      You should ask to write for the Civilian.

    • BM 11.2

      Yep, I’d be surprised if they don’t get a majority.

    • tracey 11.3

      “it seems he forgot to ask AK residence if they would like high rise housing in their neighbour hood” More evidenc eof the slefless community feeling of NZers. Just as they want more people in prisons but no prison built near them, they want their children to afford a home but not a 6 level complex near them.

    • karol 11.4

      TRto: Len Browns housing plan is in tatters, it seems he forgot to ask AK residence if they would like high rise housing in their neighbour hood ,

      Ummmm…. that is why it ‘s a draft Unitary Plan, and why there’s a call for submissions from the public, plus a load of public meetings about it.

      • tracey 11.4.1

        Nat supporters get confused over things like consultation and submission and pubblic meetings. They know what’s best for everyone else they find it frustrating to have to prove it.

  12. tracey 12

    The elephant int he housing affordability issue in Auckland, for politicians at least are leaky homes. I have been in this area of law for over 4 years now. There are over 80,000 home sin auckland ranging in values between $250k and over 1.4 million that cannot be sold because they are leaky (unless you want land value). Only about 8,000 of these owners had anyone they could sue (when they realised they had a leaky home) and the rpair costs are prohibitive and crippling for many. Take that number of homes out of the sale and purchase circulation and you have problems. BUT let’s just talk about the earthquake victims, supported by Govt, and insurance and not mention these people and their family and friends who are devastated emotionally and financially by all.

  13. tracey 13

    “The economy is rapidly improving” Thanks for the chuckle, it’s been a difficult day so far, speaking with those who the economy is failing and the justice system too… it’s always great to know amongst genuine suffering there are those who choose to belieev any old patter thrown their way.

  14. Mondograss 14

    I had a public meeting with Len about the Unitary Plan on the Shore a few nights ago. He didn’t mention the CRL once, despite it being central to the need to get decent public transport to the Shore. He did however mention the Holiday Highway several times, and not in negative terms either.

  15. tracey 15

    Mondograss… thanks for that. Buggered if I know what to make of it though…

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  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    2 days ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    2 days ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    14 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    17 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    2 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    2 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    2 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    3 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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